Thursday, September 29, 2005

I Do, I Do and I Do, Too

European blogger Paul Belien of The Brussels Journal reports some interesting domestic partnership news out of the Netherlands, a country where same-sex marriage is legal: . . .

Last Friday the first civil union of three partners was registered. Victor de Bruijn (46) from Roosendaal "married" both Bianca (31) and Mirjam (35) in a ceremony before a notary who duly registered their civil union.

"I love both Bianca and Mirjam, so I am marrying them both," Victor said. He had previously been married to Bianca. Two and a half years ago they met Mirjam Geven through an internet chatbox. Eight weeks later Mirjam deserted her husband and came to live with Victor and Bianca. After Mirjam's divorce the threesome decided to marry.

Victor: "A marriage between three persons is not possible in the Netherlands, but a civil union is. We went to the notary in our marriage costume and exchanged rings. We consider this to be just an ordinary marriage."

Maybe the scenario Joel Gillespie posted on Joelblog last week isn't so far-fetched after all.

Hat tip to Susan Olasky at World Magazine blog.


At Friday, September 30, 2005 1:23:00 AM, Blogger Roch101 said...

Ooooohhhh. Boogie man! Boogie man! Hoooga boooga!

At Friday, September 30, 2005 12:02:00 PM, Blogger Roch101 said...

The authors of this blog don't give a snit about polygamy. They don’t rail against it where it legally occurs or discuss how Christianity is offered as its excuse in America. No, the only time it comes up here is as a boogie man for their pet prejudice, homosexulaity. It is the selective outrage that's amazing.

You know what else is amazing?

THIS STORY ISN'T EVEN TRUE. Paul Belien and Susan Olasky have sloppily or contemptuously mislead their readers. Let us look, shall we?

The Netherlands have laws allowing for same sex marriage, in Dutch it is called "eregistreerd partnerschap" These can actually be entered into by couples of differing or the same sex. They afford the same rights and privileges of marriage with some exceptions for how they relate to children.

The Netherlands also allows people to enter into cohabitation agreements -- an agreement drafted by the parties and witnessed by a notary, the purpose of which is to partition domestic costs among people who share the same dwelling. They are not marriages and they are not partnership agreements. They are called "samenlevingscontract".

If one looks beyond the mistaken bloggers to the original source they cite, Binnenland, one will see, even without being able to read Dutch, that what this man and his two "brides" entered into was not a eregistreerd partnerschap, but a samenlevingscontract -- the cohabitation agreement.

That the women wore bridal gowns while getting their agreement notarized no more makes this a marriage than if I was to wear a cap and gown to get my drivers license and pretended I was being awarded a medical degree.

[Note: Some of the linked sources are in their native Dutch. One can translate them with Babelfish.]

At Friday, September 30, 2005 12:29:00 PM, Blogger Beth Marion said...

Roch gets the award of the day in my book. Awesome post Roch.

At Friday, September 30, 2005 3:47:00 PM, Blogger Roch101 said...

Two problems there Alex: that quote is from the already discredited Brussels Journal report, which is further discredited by the fact that the quote is nowhere to be found in the articles offered as original sources by the Brussels Journal.

Second, even if Victor said that, your willingeness to give him credit for knowing "what this is all about for him," would be on par with giving me credit for knowing what it is all about for me if I claimed I was a doctor after getting my drivers license. Does my thinking I'm a doctor when I'm not make me any more of a doctor? No, and you are grasping at straws.

At Friday, September 30, 2005 5:18:00 PM, Blogger Tim said...

Roch101 - In the spirit of your first comment, I am heartened to see that you have mastered the Pavlovian response to anything Mickey or Alex posts that has even the remotest connection to homosexuality or polygamy. Do you have to wipe off your keyboard before you can actually write such pithy prose?

As to who may have believed what, how about the official that performed the "ceremony"? Apparently he was just standing there thinking "Hmm, what a curious way to dress for a civil union / domestic partnership / non-marriage / whatever-the-heck-I-am-performing here ceremony." Face facts, this was a wedding and everyone involved knew it. Here in the land of civil unions (the Soviet Socialist Republic of Vermont) we can at least recognize them for what they are. I don't have to like it, nor accept it. But I can admit it when I see it. How do you keep your razor sharp for splitting all those hairs?

At Friday, September 30, 2005 9:39:00 PM, Blogger Roch101 said...

Tim, there was no "ceremony." Stop, back up and read for comprehension.

At Friday, September 30, 2005 11:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think before I can shed any light on this situation, I'll need photographs of the two brides.

Either this man will live heaven on earth and then spend an eternity in hell, or he will live life on earth, thinking he must be in hell, before he indeed checks out for real hell.

the Heckler

At Saturday, October 01, 2005 8:11:00 AM, Blogger Tim said...

Roch101 - You consistently ignore the meat of a comment in order to strain at a gnat. It matters not whether there was an actual ritual involved here. The point is the outcome, the intent. Stop your knee from jerking for a moment and think about the broader point here. Or, perhaps, you don't actually care about the point, only the reaction?

At Saturday, October 01, 2005 9:42:00 AM, Blogger Roch101 said...

Tim, if I'm ignoring the "meat" of your comments, it is because I'm focusing on the facts of reality, which are so often at odds with your trips into fantasy land.

You want to look at the outcome? Fine, let's look at the outcome as it is in reality, not as it exists in your alarmist and out-of-touch imagination.

Victor and his roommates now have a contract between them that dictates their financial reponsibilities towards their domicile. They can now go back to living together, just as they were before.

The Netherlands provide for two types of matrimonial unions, neither of which were bestowed upon these three. Those are the facts, Jack.

Any further effort to insist that this really was some sort of three-way marriage will simply serve as an example of the the extent to which you are willing to ignore factual information at hand, distort and deceive in order to scare people into sharing your prejudices.

Since you brought up people avoiding the meat of comments, how is it that nobody has yet commented on why polygamy isn't mentioned here unless it is as a boggieman for homesexual rights? Is there a reason why such selective outrage shouldn't be viewed as hypocricy?

At Saturday, October 01, 2005 11:24:00 AM, Blogger Tim said...

What specific examples of polygamy are you speaking of? Perhaps you are addressing various instances in the Mormon Church which reportedly exist in areas of the west. Christians have held that to be wrong since the inception of that cult in the 1800s. Note that there are laws against the practice. Have there been any recent examples in the news? Not that I have seen. Were there, I would gladly take the occasion to point out that Christians find the practice unacceptable, in spite of cults who CLAIM to be Christian promoting the idea. Or, possibly you are talking about Muslim countries. If that is the case, Christians have spoken out against the abuse of Muslim women (only to get beat up for being anti-Muslim). I don't know of any Christians ignoring or condoning such arrangements. So, could you be a bit more specific about the polygamy we are not addressing?

As to your contention that the case in the Netherlands is not a marriage-in-fact. It is you liberals (yes, I tag you with the hated label!) that are constantly pointing out that a marriage does not have to be solely a religious rite. In fact, it seems that liberals would be happy to have religion entirely removed from human experience, leaving only "civil" functions. Whether civil or religious, marriage is a partnership between persons involving living and financial arrangements. In the religious sense, it is also a covenant between a man and a woman to honor certain religious convictions. You can waffle and evade all you want but, if this union / contract / dress-up party (WHATEVER!) actually occured it is a marriage by any secular definition (unless you are John Kerry or Bill Clinton. In that case, the meaning of any of these words is subject to the interpretation of the moment and the speaker is not accountable to answer for what they may have meant at the time they were spoken).

At Saturday, October 01, 2005 1:12:00 PM, Blogger Roch101 said...

"it is a marriage by any secular definition"

Tim, I'm going to give you the last word. I think your comments speak for themselves.

At Saturday, October 01, 2005 9:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll admit that I've not been feeling well this last week and may not be thinking too clearly, but Victor said, "I love both Bianca and Mirjam, so I am marrying them both,"

But Roch101 says,"Any further effort to insist that this really was some sort of three-way marriage will simply serve as an example of the the extent to which you are willing to ignore factual information.."

Are we talking about the legalities of whether they are technically married here or are we talking about the fact that these 3 believe they are married and living as such?

Is their lifestyle not wrong if it is not legally recognized or is Roch saying that it's not wrong to live life as a threesome? Are we splitting hairs here? What am I missing?

the Heckler

At Sunday, October 02, 2005 8:03:00 AM, Blogger Tim said...

Heckler - From a Christian standpoint, I believe the arrangement is wrong whether the government legalizes it or not. The point I have been trying to make (although I admit that my sarcasm is too much at times - for which I apologize!), is that once states (such as Vermont and, now, Conn.) legalized "civil unions" we had de facto marriages that are outside the traditional definition of marriage. I hear many Christians talking as if they can somehow stop these "marriages" by enacting Defense of Marriage amendments. I think, the truth is, that will not happen unless civil unions are repealed. As I said before, a religious rite known as "marriage" involves a covenant between a man and a woman, and honors certain religious principles and beliefs. Marriages that are not religious in nature are, by definition, a civil union. Roch may want to belive that there is some sort of difference between a "living together" contract, a "registered partnership" and a "marriage". But they amount to the same thing. The people in this story believe they are married and the government official did nothing (apparently) to disabuse them of the notion.

I have this question, though. What we are seeing today is really no different than what Paul saw in Corinth. Though he condems these practices within the Church, he says (in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13) that we do not judge those outside the church for these practices. We only judge the believers who are falling into this type of behavior. Obviously he believes that the acts are wrong, but reserves judgement for the body of believers. The question for Roch, Beth and any others who disagree with me, is this - Why do you react so stridently when all I, as a Christian, am doing is pointing out that I believe that these are immoral acts? I have not (to the best of my knowledge) suggested that anyone be punished, discriminated against, harassed or impuned. If I have done so, please show me where so that I may repent and seek forgiveness. I will stronly defend the Word of God against people who claim to be Christians, yet who distort what it teaches. But that is entirely seperate from how I deal with non-Christian who do not believe or understand the word. Since Beth and Roch make some claim to know the Bible, and have used it in defense of their positions, I have felt free to be stong in my defense of what I believe is true. Paul said in 1 Cor. 5:13 "Remove the wicked man from yourselves." I don't believe I would go that far at this point, but it does indicate that strong action is sometimes called for among professed believers. Can you see that there is a huge difference between pointing out that something is wrong and condemning the person who is doing it?

At Monday, October 03, 2005 8:28:00 PM, Anonymous BGH said...

Blah, blah, blah, blah words, words, words, words. God created marriage to be between one man and one women - no matter what continent you live upon. We can make all sorts of laws to accomodate what ever sick and evil thinking we want but God's word stands.

Roch - argue to hell and back it matters not but in my opinion if your theology matches the tone of your arguments here you better be right or you're not going to like eternity.


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